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7/23/2014 6:00:00 AM
Arizona job picture still an up-and-down affair
Stuart Ross of Affordable Painting paints a ceiling for a new Angle Homes house on Buena Vista Drive. Construction was down slightly in the June jobs report, but observers still found reason for optimism in the overall jobs picture. (JC AMBERLYN/Miner)
Stuart Ross of Affordable Painting paints a ceiling for a new Angle Homes house on Buena Vista Drive. Construction was down slightly in the June jobs report, but observers still found reason for optimism in the overall jobs picture. (JC AMBERLYN/Miner)
By Hubble Ray Smith
Miner reporter

KINGMAN - Arizona's unemployment rate inched up to 6.9 percent in June from 6.8 percent the previous month as some 36,000 government jobs were lost during the month, the Arizona Department of Administration reported last week.

The state shed 39,500 non-farm jobs during the month, primarily seasonal losses in local and state public education.

Mohave County jumped to 8.6 percent unemployment in June, compared with 7.6 percent in May. Department statistics show 7,261 unemployed workers in a total labor force of 84,639 in the Kingman/Lake Havasu City metropolitan statistical area.

The county unemployment rate had been steadily decreasing from 9.4 percent in January.

Rural areas of Arizona have typically had higher unemployment than densely populated cities, said Jen Miles, workforce development manager for Mohave County Community Services.

"I think we've had a contraction in jobs and we are recovering from the economic recession, but perhaps a bit more slowly than urban areas," she said Tuesday.

Arizona's private sector lost 3,500 jobs in June, a substantial decrease from the post-recession average of 8,200 jobs lost. Construction lost 400 jobs in June, which is typically a strong month with an average gain of 2,400 jobs from 2004 to 2013.

Five of the state's 11 major employment sectors added jobs during the month, led by financial services (2,200) and manufacturing (900). Natural resources and mining gained 300 jobs.

Over the past 12 months, Arizona added 42,800 non-farm jobs to payrolls, all in the private sector. Education and health services reported the largest year-over-year gains of 15,200 jobs. Leisure and hospitality added 12,100 jobs, the most since November 2006.

Miles said Kingman and Mohave County are positioned well to grow and jobs will continue to come into the area. Kingman has a diverse economy with a strong industrial base and large industrial park that employs more than 2,000 workers, she noted.

"We are seeing an increase in jobs, but it's still not enough," the workforce development manager said. "We know there's a lot of momentum to recruit workers in industry, retail, tourism.

"Health care is an area that continues to grow and those are good jobs, and of course construction is picking up. We're seeing some more permits issued."

The national unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a percentage point to 6.1 percent in June.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, July 24, 2014
Article comment by: Uncle Anson

May I remind you that the current administration yelled jobs the loudest? I mean after all it didn't work the first 4 years so the yelling increased and now deep onto the subsequent 4 years it ain't working yet either.

Posted: Thursday, July 24, 2014
Article comment by: Knock Knock

Street Vendor Project !! Or Zones Remember Bus loads of people come into Town every day on way to Grand Canyon . City and county could sell permits this will increases revenue.

Posted: Thursday, July 24, 2014
Article comment by: Yes, Where is All the Jobs Republicans Promised

Yea, I agree with Joker. Republicans have said cut, cut, cut, no, no, no constantly. Cut government jobs, cut government spending, cut all government, cut public education spending. The Republicans said no to poor receiving food stamps, welfare, health care (all cut here in Az.), no to Obamacare, no to extending unemployment benefits. However they (McCain being in the forefront) said yes to war, yes to invading other countries, yes to bombing and drones, yes to destroying public education by channeling education funds to private companies (like KAOL). Well this has only result in driving more people into poverty - Az is near the top here. The Republican positions have caused massive discrimination and segregation in our education system - rich go to private schools paid for by public funds (KAOL). And funding war has caused more and more use of weapons (America's #1 in arms sells) being used to kill. The Republican blind support for everything business has resulted in the top management and business owners being very, very wealthy while their workers have to collect welfare because wages are kept low (Kingman is on top on this one).

Posted: Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Article comment by: joker wilde

Arizonans, especially Mohave Countians, elected Republicans who continually stated their platforms were "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs," yet our jobless rate rises. Go figure. This year, it seems the main point of the GOP platform is Obama bashing.

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